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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Prince William Inherits a Duchy of Cornwall Estate Worth $1 Billion

The 25th Duke of Cornwall, became the heir presumptive with Prince Charles' succession to the throne

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED KINGDOM: Prince Charles’ eldest son, who is now the Prince of Wales and the 25th Duke of Cornwall, became the heir presumptive with Prince Charles’ succession to the throne.

In addition to this title, Prince William also inherits the Duchy of Cornwall, which has provided his father with an income for more than 50 years. This is because he is one of England’s largest landowners, owning a landed estate totalling more than 52,000 hectares (128,000 acres).

Duchy of Cornwall

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The majority of the land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall in England and Wales, which stretches from Devon to Kent and Carmarthenshire to Nottinghamshire, is not in Cornwall.

Farmland makes up the majority of the estate, but it also has residential and commercial buildings, woodlands, rivers, shoreline, and nearly a third of the Dartmoor National Park, which was formerly used for mining tin and copper.

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The Oval cricket venue in central London, which the Surrey county cricket team has leased since, Dartmoor prison, and a plant nursery and horticultural centre at Lostwithiel in Cornwall are some of the estate’s more odd properties.

At the end of March, the duchy’s net assets were worth more than £1 billion, with investment property assets accounting for the majority of that amount.

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When Edward III created a private estate in 1337 to give his son and successor, Prince Edward, some independence, the duchy’s history can be traced back about 700 years to that year. According to a charter from that era, the monarch’s eldest surviving son would always be the Duke of Cornwall.

King Charles III was not only the heir apparent from the age of three but also the Duke of Cornwall for the longest period of time in history, having taken over the estate for 50 years as of 2019.

At age 21, he took over the estate’s management and earned the right to the estate’s full income.

Charles’s “public, private, and charitable activities” were supported by the estate’s yearly multimillion-pound earnings under his direction, according to the duchy’s website.

According to the report, Charles asked that the estate be run in a way that was “sustainable, financially successful, and of substantial benefit to the local community.”

Through his interest in architecture and ecology, especially organic farming, his personal interests influenced the duchy’s activities.

Charles also founded Poundbury, a model hamlet in Dorset close to Dorchester with more than 3,000 residents, also founded by Charles.

Additionally, he founded the food business Duchy Organics in 1990, more than three decades ago, and many customers may connect the name of the estate with Duchy-branded produce, including fruit, vegetables, and meat.

But following the 2007 financial crisis, the company faced financial problems. In 2009, a licencing agreement with the retailer Waitrose provided a lifeline. The company now conducts business independently of the Duchy of Cornwall.

There will be concerns about William’s decision-making and potential changes to the estate now that the duchy has gone to him.

In addition, he inherits the housing development at Nansledan, a Cornwall town extension to Newquay, where more than 4,000 dwellings and a high street are being created in a project anticipated to last three decades.

The duchy’s most recent annual financial report notes that William and a few of his personal advisers “continued to attend many of the non-executive committees to learn more about the governance of the duchy and the various initiatives that the committees oversee, and to meet new members.” This indicates that succession planning has been going on in recent years.

According to the duchy’s annual accounts, Charles received an income of £21 million for the year ending March 31, 2022, thanks to his ownership of the land.

There will be questions about whether William, the next Duke, will pay tax on his duchy income in the same manner as his father.

After deducting official expenses, the duchy’s earnings—known as its “surplus”—amounted to £23 million in the most recent fiscal year. Charles voluntarily paid the top rate of income tax on these earnings, which is 45%.

Now that he has decided on the strategic course for the Duchy under his rule, Prince William must negotiate these and other issues.

Also Read: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch, Dies At 96

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